Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul viewed from Galata Bridge, showcasing its grand domes and minarets against the skyline.

The Perfect 12-Day Turkey Itinerary: Unforgettable Sights

Welcome to a Grand Turkish Adventure!

Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking landscapes of Turkey. Our 12-day Turkey tour promises an unforgettable blend of historic exploration, scenic views, and unique cultural experiences. From the cosmopolitan streets of Istanbul to the moonscapes of Cappadocia, this journey covers Turkey’s must-see highlights, providing both adventure and relaxation in one of the world’s most mesmerizing countries.

Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul, Airport Transfer and Free Day

Your adventure with Turkey Tours begins upon your arrival at either Istanbul New Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gökcen Airport (SAW), where our team will greet you with a personalized welcome sign. After a smooth transfer to your hotel, enjoy a free afternoon to relax or explore the vibrant surroundings. Consider an enchanting Night Cruise on the Bosphorus, complete with dinner and a show, to start your trip with a sparkle. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2: Istanbul Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Tour

Embark on a historical tour of Istanbul’s most iconic sites after breakfast. Discover the majestic Hagia Sophia Museum, marvel at the Blue Mosque, and stroll through the ancient Byzantine Hippodrome. After lunch, the Topkapi Palace Museum awaits, once the grand residence of Ottoman Sultans. Conclude your day with a vibrant shopping experience at the Grand Bazaar, home to over 4,000 shops. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 3: Bosphorus Cruise — Fly from Istanbul to Konya

Begin your day with a scenic Bosphorus cruise after visiting the aromatic Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar). Enjoy panoramic views of palaces and old mansions along the strait separating Europe and Asia. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Konya, where the rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Konya.

Day 4: Konya Tour — From Konya to Cappadocia by Intercity Bus

Explore Konya, the city of whirling dervishes, starting with the spiritually significant Mevlana Museum, adjacent to the Ottoman-era Sultan Selim mosque. Visit the historic Alaaddin Mosque on Alaettin Hill, followed by the Great Karatay Medrese. In the afternoon, board the intercity bus to Cappadocia, a region famous for its fairy chimneys and cave dwellings. Overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 5: North Cappadocia Tour

Discover the enchanting landscapes of North Cappadocia, including the Devrent Valley, Pasabag Valley, and the city of Avanos. After lunch, explore the Zelve Open Air Museum and take in the panoramic views at Uchisar Castle. Overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 6: South Cappadocia Tour

Continue your exploration in South Cappadocia, visiting the Red Valley, Cavusin Village, and Pigeon Valley. Explore the underground cities of Kaymakli or Ozkonak, where early Christians sought refuge. Overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 7: Fly to Antalya

Travel to Antalya, a stunning city on the Mediterranean coast, via a connecting flight through Istanbul. Enjoy a free evening to explore Antalya’s beautiful landscapes and historical sites. Overnight in Antalya.

Day 8: Full Day Tour to Perge, Aspendos, Side, and Waterfall

Visit the ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos, both rich in history and architectural wonders. Explore the seaside city of Side, and relax at the picturesque Manavgat Waterfall before returning to Antalya. Overnight in Antalya.

Day 9: Travel from Antalya to Pamukkale by Bus

Journey to Pamukkale, known for its thermal mineral waters flowing down white travertine terraces. Overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 10: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour

Explore the natural wonders of Pamukkale and the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. In the evening, transfer to Kusadasi, a coastal town known for its vibrant atmosphere. Overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 11: Ephesus Tour — Fly back to Istanbul

Tour the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the greatest cities of the Greco-Roman world. Visit significant sites including the Temple of Hadrian and the Great Theater. End the day in the charming village of Sirince, enjoying local wines. Fly back to Istanbul in the evening. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 12: Departure from Istanbul

After breakfast, conclude your Turkish tour with a transfer to Istanbul International airport, carrying memories of a truly spectacular journey.

Adventurer’s FAQ

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Turkey?
A: Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to November) are ideal for comfortable temperatures and fewer tourists.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Turkey?
A: Many travelers need an e-visa for Turkey. Check the requirements for your country well in advance of travel.

Q: Can I use credit cards throughout my journey in Turkey?
A: Major cities and tourist spots accept credit cards, but it’s wise to carry some cash for smaller purchases, especially in remote areas.

Top Experiences & Tours in Turkey

  • 7 Days Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour: This compact tour is designed for those who want to experience the essential highlights of Turkey’s historical and natural beauty in a week. Explore the bustling city life of Istanbul, the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia, the ancient city of Ephesus, and the stunning white terraces of Pamukkale.
  • 8 Days Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephesus Tour: Extend your adventure with an additional day to delve deeper into the cultural and historical sites. Enjoy more immersive experiences in each location, allowing for a slower pace to fully absorb the rich history and landscapes.
  • 9 Days Istanbul, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Cappadocia Tour: This tour rearranges the traditional route to start with Istanbul’s architectural marvels, followed by an exploration of Ephesus and Pamukkale before culminating in the magical setting of Cappadocia.
  • 10 Days Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya and Pamukkale Tour: The most comprehensive tour, perfect for those who also want to experience the Mediterranean charm of Antalya. This itinerary includes ample time in each location for a leisurely exploration of Turkey’s diverse landscapes and historical sites.

The Heartbeat of Adventure: A Lasting Impression

As you reflect on your journey through Turkey, the images of vibrant bazaars, ancient ruins, and the warmth of Turkish hospitality linger in your mind, leaving a lasting impression that beckons you to return. This 12-day tour not only enriches your understanding of the world but also enlivens your spirit with the sheer joy of discovery.

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